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Holiday plans Swiss cabinet ministers: why go abroad in summer?

Berset and Sommaruga on the cabinet outing

In the mood: Cabinet ministers Alain Berset and Simonetta Sommaruga on the annual 'cabinet outing' last Thursday


Is the current climate debate and “flight shaming” having an influence on Switzerland’s seven Federal Councillors, who are all spending their summer holidays in Switzerland or nearby? 

“No,” the economics ministry succinctly told the Keystone-SDA news agency. Economics Minister Guy Parmelin, currently travelling around Japan and Vietnam on work, will spend a few days hiking in Switzerland, his spokeswoman said. Whether he’ll stop for a picnic with British Prime Minister Theresa May, another fan of Swiss hiking trails, is unknown. 

Simonetta Sommaruga, head of the environment, transport, energy and communications ministry, plans to spend most of her summer holidays in Switzerland. As in previous years Sommaruga, a classically trained pianist, will visit the musical festival in Meiringenexternal link, canton Bern. A bit of hiking is also on the cards. No flights are planned, according to her spokeswoman. 

And it’s hiking too for Defence Minister Viola Amherd, who recharges quickly when she can wander around in the mountains, according to her spokesman. She also plans to attend a few cultural events. 

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis will relax at home in Ticino “but will keep an eye on his dossiers”, his department said. A framework deal with the EU will probably be at the top of the pile. He will also travel abroad for work, but the destinations have not yet been made public. 

Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter is off to London this week for work but will split her time-off “partly in Switzerland and partly abroad”, the department’s spokeswoman said – as will Interior Minister Alain Berset

Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, doesn’t talk about his private life.

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